Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 13:55 UK

Reaction to the downturn

UK City dealers
Market analysts knew a recession was coming but fear for output
There has been plenty of reaction to the news that UK economic growth has fallen by 0.5% in the third quarter, bringing with it the prospect of a recession.

Politicians, businessmen and analysts have all been taking to the airwaves.

Here is a selection of what they have been saying.

BUILDER BRIAN HOLMES, SUNDERLAND
Unfortunately, this Christmas time we're going to be struggling.

Due to this credit crunch, it's putting us in an awkward position with all my staff... I'm looking at two months worth of work gone.

There's no work, they [my employees] don't get paid, I'll have to lay them off.

BANK OF ENGLAND DEPUTY GOVERNOR CHARLES BEAN

This [the current credit crunch] is a once in a lifetime crisis, and possibly the largest financial crisis of its kind in human history...

In terms of impact on the real economy, we are still in early days.

Compared to the early 1990s, we are in a better position in that we are free to set monetary policy to try and stabilise the economy.

Mr Bean was talking to the Scarborough Evening News

CHANCELLOR ALISTAIR DARLING

I've lived through the recessions this country saw in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

The difference is this time, we are determined to do everything we can and as soon as we can to help people, so that if they lose their jobs, they can get back into work, that if businesses get into difficulty, we do our level best to help them.

CBI DIRECTOR-GENERAL RICHARD LAMBERT
This confirms... a sharp deterioration in business conditions and confidence over the past three months... Today's numbers support the view that the pace of inflation will fall rapidly.

Business needs a further 0.5 percentage point cut in interest rates soon... We must also find ways to stop small firms that are otherwise sound from being pushed over the brink.

CONSERVATIVE LEADER DAVID CAMERON

In the short term, we've got to help small businesses with their cashflow, help them with VAT, help them cut their national insurance bills, change that will help them trade through the recession.

In the longer term, we need a more balanced economy, less emphasis on just financial services and housing, more emphasis on technology, on manufacturing, on broadening the base of our economy.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER NICK CLEGG

We may well be on the edge of a new winter of discontent.

The credit crunch is hitting the real economy... harder and faster than was first feared.

The Government needs to cut taxes for those on low and middle incomes... the Bank of England must make a further cut in interest rates to help families struggling to make ends meet.

STATIONERY COMPANY MD HARRY SKIDMORE, DERBYSHIRE
Harry Skidmore
Harry has learnt from the last downturn and feels confident
We're ready, we've got stability in our workforce.

We've got diversity in terms of the creativity of our products.

Our customers want better value and lower prices... Without a doubt, it's survival of the fittest.

Economic downturns rarely last for more than 18 months to two years and we're ready to come through that.

CAPITAL ECONOMICS' VICKY REDWOOD
Of course, the fact that a recession is already underway... isn't a surprise - even Mervyn King and Gordon Brown referred to it earlier this week.

But the fact that output has shrunk so much so early on in the downturn is clearly worrying.

We expect the economy to contract for around two years in all, with a peak-to-trough drop in output of 1.5% or even more.

CITY INDEX'S CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST TOM HOUGAARD

Everyone is staring at their screens in disbelief.

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